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Switzerland joins embryonic stem cell R&D (research and development) race:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The Swiss population has overwhelmingly approved of new legislation permitting embryonic stem cell research, through a referendum that had been called with the aim of repealing, on ethical grounds, a law passed by the government in December 2003. Two-thirds (1,156,613 or 66.4%) of the votes cast backed the new law, while 33.6% (585,414 votes) went against. The approved law allows the use only of embryos left over from in vitro fertilisation. The government welcomed the result of the referendum, citing its importance for the major bioscience companies based in Switzerland, for the progress of medicine, especially with regard to potentially finding cures for conditions such as paraplegia, diabetes, myocardial infarction and Alzheimer's disease. The new law comes into force in March 2005.

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